If there is a 2020 Major League Baseball season and at least some of it doesn’t occur in teams’ home ballparks, the state of Arizona has come up as a potential host. It’s anyone’s guess whether that will happen, but Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Tuesday that pro sports teams will be able to resume without spectators in the state beginning on May 16, Andrew Oxford of the Arizona Republic writes. That in itself is not necessarily an indicator that baseball’s nearing a return, though. As Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. the league’s not going to play this year if it’s not convinced it will be be in position to provide sufficient coronavirus testing to its players. Fortunately, MLB does expect that it will be able to fulfill that requirement.
- MLB and the MLBPA met Tuesday to discuss a potential season, but they mostly talked about health and safety, according to Heyman. He and Joel Sherman of the New York Post note that there wasn’t a former proposal regarding 50-50 revenue sharing or pay cuts, adding that those talks will occur later. However, owners are not keen on paying players prorated salaries without fans in the stands, per Heyman. They instead believe they’d lose less money with no baseball at all, which could be a major stumbling block in negotiations. “I think we will play,” an agent told Travis Sawchik of FiveThirtyEight, “but there is going to be an economic war.” That’s not a reassuring statement, especially with the league and the union set to engage in serious collective bargaining agreement discussions in the near future.
- Beginning June 1, any Mariners employee who makes $60K or more will have to take a 20 percent pay cut through the end of October, Corey Brock of The Athletic reports. That will have a negative effect on about 60 employees, but the Mariners are taking that measure as a way to avoid any layoffs or furloughs during that five-month period. General manaager Jerry Dipoto will be among those on the bad end of it, as Brock writes that his pay will decrease by even more than 20 percent, but he’s behind the organization’s plan. “We wanted to make sure we did the right thing and kept people afloat during a difficult time,” Dipoto told Brock.
- You can probably forget about baseball taking place in Los Angeles County in the near future. Its stay-at-home orders “with all certainty” will last for at least three more months, county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced Tuesday, per Colleen Shalby and Sarah Parvini of the Los Angeles Times.
- Three notable members of the Rangers have preexisting conditions, making them more susceptible to contracting the virus, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. Starter Kyle Gibson was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a year ago, reliever Brett Martin’s a diabetic, and third base coach Tony Beasley is a cancer survivor. All three told Grant that they’re eager to get back in action, though there would have to be safety protocols in place first.